Skip to main content

Berzerk (Atari Corporation)

Item Preview

[screenshot]

software
Berzerk (Atari Corporation)


Published 1982


Berzerk is a multi-directional shooter video arcade game, released in 1980 by Stern Electronics of Chicago.

The player controls a green stick man, representing a humanoid. Using a joystick (and a firing button to activate a laser-like weapon), the player navigates a simple maze filled with many robots, who fire lasers back at the player character. A player can be killed by being shot, by running into a robot or an exploding robot, coming into contact with the electrified walls of the maze itself, or by being touched by the player's nemesis, Evil Otto.

The function of Evil Otto, represented by a bouncing smiley face, is to quicken the pace of the game. Otto is unusual, with regard to games of the period, in that there is no way to kill him. Otto can go through walls with impunity and is attracted to the player character. If robots remain in the maze Otto moves slowly, about half as fast as the humanoid, but he speeds up to match the humanoid's speed once all the robots are killed. Evil Otto moves exactly the same speed as the player going left and right but he can move faster than the player going up and down; thus, no matter how close Otto is, the player can escape as long as they can avoid moving straight up or down.

Alan McNeil, an employee of Universal Research Laboratories (a division of Stern Electronics), had a dream one night involving a black-and-white video game in which he had to fight robots. This dream, with heavy borrowing from the BASIC game Robots (Daleks in the UK), was the basis for Berzerk, which was named for Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series of science fiction novels. "Evil Otto" was named after Dave Otto, security chief at McNeil's former employer Dave Nutting Associates. According to McNeil, Otto would, "[smile] while he chewed you out." He would also lock McNeil and his fellow employees out of the building to enforce a noon-hour lunch, as well as piping "beautiful" music into every room.

The idea for a black-and-white game was abandoned when the color game Defender was released earlier the same year to significant success. At that point Stern decided to use a color overlay board for Berzerk. A quick conversion was made, and all but the earliest versions of the game shipped with a color CRT display. The game was test-marketed successfully at a Chicago singles bar before general release.


Identifier Berzerk_1982_Atari_NTSC
Scanner Internet Archive Python library 0.4.4
Mediatype software
Publicdate 2013-11-04 08:23:40
Addeddate 2013-11-04 08:23:40
Date 1982
Year 1982
Emulator a2600
Emulator_ext bin
Backup_location ia905709_12

comment
Reviews

Reviewer: CorporateGamer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 17, 2016
Subject: Berserk Review
This game was so fun to play. It is simple yet effective in its execution. Awesome retro game!
Reviewer: D. Pool - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 4, 2015
Subject: One of the Greats
This was one of the first games I ever played and to this day is still hard to master. I'm glad there wasn't an easy way to record how long you played a game back on the Atari because I spent way too much time on this one.
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
Jason Scott
on 11/4/2013
Views
1,382
Favorites
2
Reviews
2
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
Historical Software Collection
by Howard Scott Warshaw
software
eye 1,930
favorite 3
comment 1
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Historical Software Collection
by Warren Robinett
software
eye 2,205
favorite 4
comment 1
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Historical Software Collection
software
eye 387
favorite 1
comment 0
Historical Software Collection
software
eye 2,931
favorite 2
comment 1
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Historical Software Collection
software
eye 344
favorite 2
comment 0
Historical Software Collection
software
eye 1,257
favorite 0
comment 0
Historical Software Collection
by Chris Crawford
software
eye 1,829
favorite 3
comment 3
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Historical Software Collection
software
eye 770,554
favorite 3
comment 0
ARCHIVE.ORG Console Library: Atari 2600
software
eye 33
favorite 1
comment 0